The future of the auto industry

cars-future

Will the automobile keep its soul as the industry transforms itself?

At the 1964 New York World’s Fair automakers were center stage. General Motors exhibited the Firebird IV concept car. GM explained how it, “anticipates the day when the family will drive to the super-highway, turn over the car’s controls to an automatic, programmed guidance system and travel in comfort and absolute safety at more than twice the speed possible on today’s expressways.” Ford introduced a vehicle for the more immediate future: the Mustang. With an eye toward the segment that would later be named the baby boomers, the Ford Division’s general manager (a not-yet-40-year-old engineer named Lee Iacocca) explained that the car brought “total performance” to a “young America out to have a good time.” Ford estimated it would sell 100,000 Mustangs during that first year; in fact, it would sell more than 400,000.

 

 

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China is more eager for self-driving cars than western countries

china's auto market

Chinese consumers are more interested in autonomous driving technology than anyone else.

The auto market in China is having an increasingly important effect on the bottom line for all automakers worldwide as it continues to grow. Just look at examples like General Motors’ strong recent growth or Porsche’s expanding sales. In addition to being vital for business, some industry watchers think the nation’s huge consumer force might just make it the premier place for automatic driving technology to prosper more quickly than in any other market.

 

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Plug-in electric vehicles to communicate with electric companies via the cloud

electric vehicle

A two-way communication platform would allow plug-in electric vehicles to work with power grids.

Ford Motor Company and seven global automakers have joined together for a first-ever test of technology that will allow utility companies to communicate with plug-in electric vehicles via the cloud, an advancement that would help manage energy use and improve the efficiency of the power grid.

 

 

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Here’s why automakers want 4G technology in cars

4g tech

Automakers are counting on the connected car.

Today’s cars are trying to replicate the smartphone experience. Touchscreen interfaces are common. Dashboard designers take UI tips from iPhones, and automakers want to build apps for cars. Large automakers like General Motors are taking the next obvious step and integrating 4G LTE service into their cars starting this year. Drivers pay a monthly service fee for in-car 4G that’s separate from their smartphones, and use it for an array of services from movies for kids in the backseat to sophisticated GPS-on-steroids solutions. It’s a win-win for automakers, the dealers who sell the 4G add-ons, and carriers like AT&T. But is it a win for consumers?

 

 

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Google’s self-driving car tech may be available in Ford, GM, Toyota and other vehicles within 6 years

google self driving

Google’s self-driving car

Within about six years, Google’s self-driving car technology may appear in Toyotas, Fords, and other widely available vehicles. It all depends on how the latest rounds of talks between Google and the automakers play out.

 

 

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Google’s quest to popularize self-driving cars

How a self-driving car sees the world.

At about 8am every morning, Anthony Levandowski gets into the driver’s seat of his white Lexus for his daily commute to work. Most of us perform this routine five times a week, 50 weeks out of the year. But, Levandowski’s commute is different. He has a chauffeur and it’s a robot.

 

 

 

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Detroit’s Population Shrank 25% in Last Decade

The Motor City’s engine is dying. Detroit’s population shrank by more than 25% in the last decade, according to Census statistics reported in the New York Times. The city’s population fell to 713,777 in 2010, a drop of almost 240,000 residents. That’s 100,000 more than Katrina-ravaged New Orleans lost.

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‘Talking Cars’ Someday May Save Lives

talking-cars

 The systems are still five to 10 years from being deployed into America’s car fleet.

Could “talking cars” save lives?  A group of car companies is developing safety systems using advanced Wi-Fi signals and GPS systems that could allow vehicles to communicate with each other on the road. The cars could then send messages to warn their drivers about potential crashes.

 

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U.S. Government Developing Device to Detect Alcohol On a Driver’s Breath

reservedfordrunkdrivers

Government working on the Driver Alcohol Detection System program.

What if there were a foolproof device in every car that would keep it from starting if its driver were drunk? It would save tens of thousands of lives every year, and that’s why the government is thinking about granting a whopping funding increase to a program working on a Driver Alcohol Detection System.

 

 

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